Guest Post & Giveaway: The Dream Defenders by Neal DenHartog

The Dream Defenders
by Neal DenHartog
Genre: YA Fantasy 

A vivid, dangerous dream world. Real-life consequences. Better ready your defense.

When fourteen-year-old Nolan Erling wakes up with a headache for the fourth straight day, he suspects the likely culprit to be any number of things—from his annoying baby brother, to vehicular crashes with his elderly neighbor, or even his questionable late-night food choices—not his dreams.

Aeryn Sandman knows the true cause, though. She is a junior agent with the DREAM Institute, a secret organization tasked with protecting the world’s population while they sleep, and she’s on her first assignment.

Her mission: infiltrate Nolan’s life—and his dreams—and keep him safe, all while persuading him to join their protective force.

But recruitment missions are no walk in the park, and Aeryn’s goes horribly wrong when Nolan’s powers unwittingly unleash two dream creatures locked away in a restricted area of the dream world. While Aeryn and Nolan search for ways to contain the escaped beings, they uncover a much greater conspiracy.

For these dreams can kill, and someone is orchestrating their actions in the dream world. If Aeryn and Nolan can’t figure out who is behind it, no dreamer will be safe, and neither will the organization that defends them.

Discover a book with a fresh voice, genuinely humorous characters, and a compelling, original storyline. The Dream Defenders will appeal to readers of all ages.
★★★★★ - "A spectacularly imaginative story." - Indies Today

**FREE July 29th – 31st!!**
Meet the Cast

Nolan Erling is a fourteen-year-old boy who does well enough in school, but doesn’t really fit in. It probably doesn’t help that his best friend is his elderly next-door neighbor, Frostee. Home life used to be great even though Nolan is adopted, but the recent addition of a younger brother—a miracle baby—to the family has caused him to grow apart from his mom and dad. Then there’s the headaches. He’s been waking with them for four straight days, and the only person who claims she can help him with them is the mysterious new girl at school....

Aeryn Sandman is fifteen and a Junior Agent with the DREAM Institute, a secret organization tasked with protecting the world of dreams while the population sleeps. This is her first mission, and she’s trying to recruit Nolan by integrating into his life—and his dreams—to bring him into the fold at the Institute. She’s driven and wants nothing more than to impress her superiors, including her father.

Geoffrey Sandman is the Director of the DREAM Institute. He runs the day to day operations, overseeing all of the various departments. He is a precognitive dreamer, meaning he occasionally sees glimpses of the future. He’s seen Nolan in a few of those dreams, but he won’t disclose why. He is the father of two children, Aeryn and Marshall.

Marshall Sandman is Aeryn’s slightly older twin brother, by a whopping five minutes, which he likes to rub in when he can. He is on a research tract at the Institute, preferring to spend his time learning about dreams rather than manipulating them while asleep. He’s pulled into the Nolan and Aeryn’s quest due to his knowledge of the dream world.

Jade Melody is Aeryn’s direct supervisor and she travels with Aeryn on her recruitment mission to offer advice and make sure everything is going okay. She is one of the few adults sympathetic to the kids’cause when thing ultimately go awry.

Penchant Downing is the Institute’s finest oneironaut, or O-Naut for short. O-Nauts operate in the dream world and are experts at manipulating dreamscapes. Penchant is assigned to Nolan’s case early on, mostly as a cleanup crew while Nolan tries to get a handle on his dream powers, and later as a protector from the dangerous creatures stalking the kids.

Crispin Devereaux is Penchant’s boss, the Head of the Maintenance Department. His group is focused on maintaining and repairing dreamscapes within the dream world. But the dream world is a big place and his work force too few, especially so when one of the worst breaches in history occurs.

Lester Bogman, or the Bogeyman as he is known around the Institute, runs the Nightmare Department. He has a reputation of being a jerk and often suggests harming the kids to remedy the crisis they’re facing. This utter disregard for the well-being of Nolan and his friends puts him at odds with Geoffrey, and Nolan is pretty much convinced Lester caused the entire situation himself.

Frostee Shupert is Nolan’s eighty-year-old next-door neighbor and substitute algebra teacher. He and Nolan get along great, and when he’s not hanging out with the boy, he’s sleeping an inordinate amount of time in the hammock in his backyard or playing with his adorable chub of a pug, Scranton.

Julia Grimm runs the Death Department. Yes, there is a Death Department because people die in their sleep all the time, and someone has to make sure that happens as naturally as possible. Unfortunately, a major oversight by her subordinates is partially to blame for the events of the story.

The Shadow was once the most feared nightmare in the dream world, stalking and terrifying his victims by being able to meld into shadows and turn into smoke with ease. He begins the story imprisoned, a result of becoming too good at his job. But someone wants to set him free, and he wants revenge...

Gearby Stelensnarf is a nightmare specializing in stealing people’s clothing while they dream so they endup in their underwear or nude in terrifying situations. He is recruited by the Shadow, but if the right garment comes around, he’ll switch sides at the drop of a hat.

Bolt is another nightmare, a small demon with a pair of bolt cutters larger than he is. He uses them to disable the brake lines of vehicles so dreamers experience the terror of driving with no brakes. He and Gearby are rarely seen without each other.

Neal DenHartog was born, raised, and currently resides in Iowa. After a fifteen year career in the sciences he decided to rekindle his childhood passion for writing. Now, when he's not donning a lab coat, he writes stories about dreams.

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